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Tech

Billionaire V.C. under fire in beach dispute

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Tech

Billionaire V.C. under fire in beach dispute

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COMING UP:Billionaire V.C. under fire in beach dispute

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00:00:02
>> The road to surfer nirvana blocked by one of Silicon Valley's most prominent venture capitalists, and he's under pressure to explain why. I'm Lily Jamali for Reuters near Half Moon Bay about 30 miles south of San Francisco. This is Martins Beach. This is a strip of land that's been beloved by local surfers for decades, but the road to get here is now owned by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
00:00:27
Khosla bought the beachfront property for $32.5 million in 2008, and didn't make friends in the neighborhood when he started blocking access a few years later. Two groups have sued him over the move. Earlier this year his lawyers told the State Lands Commission the value of access to the road is approaching $30 million in today's market.
00:00:47
Surfer Mike Wallace live a few miles down the road.>> My personal reaction was I basically just laughed cuz I didn't find it realistic at all, considering the property exchanged hands for somewhere near that amount. Access is not as expensive as actually putting this through the courts.>> Khosla's lawyers dispute any suggestion that their client wants to sell road access for $30 million.
00:01:08
Telling Reuters, "Contrary to media reports, we have never offered to sell access to the state, rather we offered to sell the whole property at the appraised value". They won't say what the land has been assessed at. But since he bought it during the financial crisis, it's now likely to be worth far more than what he paid.
00:01:26
Khosla made his name helping start Sun Microsystems in the early 80s. He left to become a venture capitalist, and in 2004 started Khosla Ventures. With investments in clean tech, just this month it was announced his firm was funding Hyperloop One. Khosla was recently asked about the beach dispute by local NBC station KNTV.
00:01:47
>> It's not a topic I wanna talk about. Very clearly, it's a dispute around property rights.>> Will you take the case as far as it needs to go?>> I won't comment on what I will or won't do.>> The State's Land Commission could end up using eminent domain, but tells Reuters, so far it hasn't decided whether to pursue it.